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Road to the play-offs

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 11:03
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With just two rounds left before the Super Rugby play-offs there are still nine teams in with a shout of making the top six.

The pressure will be on over the next fortnight as the top teams jostle for play-off spots, and although there are six teams that are completely out of the running they could play a vital role in determining who makes the cut by upsetting some big guns.

The New Zealand conference is the most competitive of the lot, with four teams still in the mix, although the Highlanders will need a few results to go their way if they are to sneak in.

The Chiefs have guaranteed themselves top spot in the conference already, so the focus in New Zealand will be on the Hurricanes and Crusaders who could both qualify.

In the South African conference the Stormers, Bull and Sharks are all gunning for a spot, but the most important teams could well be the Cheetahs and the Lions who will be involved in some crucial derbies.

The Cheetahs play the Stormers and the Sharks whilst the Lions face the Bulls in the final round of the regular season, so although they cannot make the play-offs they could have a big say in who does.

In Australia it is just the Brumbies and the Reds who have a chance, but both of them could make the top six if things pan out correctly for them.

With so many teams in contention there should be plenty of tension as the threat of being knocked out looms and the battle for a spot in the top two which guarantees a home semifinal and a week's break intensifies..

Chiefs:
Current position: New Zealand conference - first; global standings - first
Best possible finish: New Zealand conference - first; global standings - first
Worst possible finish: New Zealand conference - first; global standings - third
Remaining fixtures:
6 July: v Crusaders, home
13 July: v Hurricanes, away

Stormers:
Current position: South African conference - first; global standings second
Best possible finish: South African conference - first; global standings - first
Worst possible finish: South African conference - third; global standings - eighth
Remaining fixtures:
7 July: v Cheetahs, away
14 July: v Rebels, home

Brumbies:
Current position: Australian conference - first; global standings - third
Best possible finish: Australian conference - first; global standings - first
Worst possible finish: Australian conference - second; global standings - ninth
Remaining fixtures:
7 July: v Waratahs, away
14 July: v Blues, home

Bulls:
Current position: South African conference - second; global standings - fourth
Best possible finish: South African conference - first; global standings - first
Worst possible finish: South African conference - third; global standings - ninth
Remaining fixtures:
6 July: v Sharks, away
14 July: v Lions, home

Crusaders:
Current position: New Zealand conference - second; global standings - fifth
Best possible finish: New Zealand conference - second; global standings -fourth
Worst possible finish: New Zealand conference - fourth; global standings - ninth
Remaining fixtures:
6 July: v Chiefs, away
14 July: v Force, home

Hurricanes:
Current position: New Zealand conference - third; global standings - sixth
Best possible finish: New Zealand conference - second; global standings - fourth
Worst possible finish: New Zealand conference - fourth; global standings - ninth
Remaining fixtures:
6/7 July: Bye
13 July: v Chiefs, home

Reds:
Current position: Australian conference - second; global standings - seventh
Best possible finish: Australian conference - first; global standings - second
Worst possible finish: Australian conference - second; global standings - ninth
Remaining fixtures:
6 July: v Highlanders, home
14 July: v Waratahs, home

Sharks:
Current position: South African conference - third; global standings - eighth
Best possible finish: South African conference - first; global standings - second
Worst possible finish: South African conference - third; global standings - ninth
Remaining fixtures:
6 July: v Bulls, home
14 July: v Cheetahs, home

Highlanders:
Current position: New Zealand conference - fourth; global standings - ninth
Best possible finish: New Zealand conference - second; global standings - fourth
Worst possible finish: New Zealand conference - fourth; global standings - ninth
Remaining fixtures:
6 July: v Reds, away
13/14 July: Bye

Cheetahs:
Current position: South African conference - fourth; global standings - tenth
Best possible finish: South African conference - fourth; global standings - tenth
Worst possible finish: South African conference - fourth; global standings - thirteenth
Remaining fixtures:
7 July: v Stormers, home
14 July: v Sharks, away

Waratahs:
Current position: Australian conference - third; global standings - eleventh
Best possible finish: Australian conference - third; global standings - tenth
Worst possible finish: Australian conference - fifth; global standings - thirteenth
Remaining fixtures:
7 July: v Brumbies, home
14 July, v Reds, away

Rebels:
Current position: Australian conference - fourth; global standings - twelfth
Best possible finish: Australian conference - third; global standings - tenth
Worst possible finish: Australian conference - fifth; global standings - fifteenth
Remaining fixtures:
7 July, v Lions, away
14 July, v Stormers, away

Force:
Current position: Australian conference - fifth; global standings - thirteenth
Best possible finish: Australian conference - third; global standings - tenth
Worst possible finish: Australian conference - fifth; global standings - fifteenth
Remaining fixtures:
7 July: v Blues, away
14 July: v Crusaders, away

Blues:
Current position: New Zealand conference - fifth; global standings - fourteenth
Best possible finish: New Zealand conference - fifth; global standings - twelfth
Worst possible finish: New Zealand conference - fifth; global standings - fifteenth
Remaining fixtures:
7 July: v Force, home
14 July: v Brumbies, away

Lions:
Current position: South African conference - fifth; global standings - fifteenth
Best possible finish: South African conference - fifth; global standings - twelfth
Worst possible finish: South African conference - fifth, global standings - fifteenth
Remaining fixtures:
7 July: v Rebels, home
14 July: v Bulls, away

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